Three Dutch universities have departments of pharmacoepidemiology. These devote considerable attention to the occurrence of adverse drug reactions at group level. A number of initiatives have been developed whereby these can be studied more closely in the context of day-to-day medical and pharmacological practice. The resulting systems are more suitable for the assessment of signals than for their generation.

The Department of Pharmacoepidemiology of the University of Utrecht developed the "PHAR-MO'' system (which is now operated independently). It is a record-linkage system that uses information provided by a number of pharmacists in combination with hospital clinical records. The department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Rotterdam's Erasmus University is responsible for the Integrated Primary Care Information (IPCI) system. It relies on digital information recorded by general practitioners. The Department of Social Pharmacy and Pharmacoepidemiology of the University of Groningen has joined forces with the Lareb Foundation in developing an intensive monitoring system which will use the initial signals notified by pharmacists as well as responses to surveys conducted among general practitioners. It is believed that such a system will result in a first impression of possible adverse reactions in the case of newly authorized preparations.

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